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Jose Mourinho takes blame for Tottenham’s 1-0 loss to Antwerp

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Tottenham manager, Jose Mourinho has taken the blame for his club’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to Royal Antwerp on Thursday night.

Mourinho was furious at his stars lacklustre display and admitted that he “would have liked to make 11,” after making a quadruple change at the break. “I didn’t make five because I was afraid of a long 45 minutes without any changes to make.”

Jose substituted Giovani Lo Celso, Steven Bergwijn, Carlos Vinicius and Dele Alli, at once during the break and Gareth Bale followed later but the introduction of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane did not stop the inevitable.

“There’s only one person to blame, and it is me. I had chosen the players to start. At half-time I tried to improve the situation. But it was not enough. The dynamic of the first half was there, the mentality was there and it’s difficult to change.

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“In the first half the game was very easy to play, lots of space. In the second half, we improved but then they played in a completely different way. It was very difficult. In the end, Antwerp got what they deserved and we also got what we deserved.

“It’s a fair result. I’m always calm with it. The best team won and the worst team lost.”

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Mourinho made five changes to Tottenham’s starting line-up for the Group J clash ahead of a Premier League encounter with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Asked if any players put forward their case to start more regularly, Mourinho said: “Look, you know what our best team is. You know the same thing that I know and that everybody knows.

“But I think that the players, they deserve an opportunity. We have a big squad with lots of good players. It’s my responsibility to give them opportunities. It’s their responsibility to ask for more.

“Tonight, my future choices are going to be very easy. But again, there is only one responsible, not the players, it’s my responsibility.”

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Tottenham did not manage a single attempt on target when chasing a goal in the second half, with the Belgian Pro League leaders holding on for a famous victory.

“It’s disappointing because I keep saying the team has to be a state of mind and you have to keep always every match to play well and to win,” Mourinho said. “It’s as simple as that.

“But it is more complicated because you have to keep a certain motivational level. You have to be consistent. On Monday [against Burnley], we needed everything from every player. Of course, it’s frustrating we come here tonight and don’t do the same.” [Goal]



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